What is it about quiet, vulnerable boys that make us swoon so hard? Their gentle nature, their subtle confidence, their unwavering devotion? I certainly dont know the answer, but I do know this:
Ali Novak certainly knows how to write them.
She is the Wattpad author known as @fallzswimmer, the genius behind such phenoms as My Life With The Walter Boys and The Heartbreakers. Published with Sourcebooks, Novak has found her popularity transcending the online forum onto the bookshelves, and rightly so. She has a unique, natural talent for drawing you in to the trails of her characters, while equally becoming infatuated with her antagonists and their challenges.
Her upcoming release, Paper Hearts (release date July 4, 2017), is no different. The second book in the Heartbreakers series, this time it is no longer about the confident, playboy Oliver. this time, it is Alec, the quiet, supportive boy with his own secrets and difficulties. Paired with a new heroine in Felicity, the two meet in a way that is straight from the pages of a fan fiction, before their adventure turns to family discord, controlling parents, and first love.
Here is what the back cover has to say:
Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mothers expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.
Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned – like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never through he’d turn out to be Alec Williams, a member of the world – famous band the Heartbreakers.
Then Felicitiy uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she Ale and her two best friends are off on a road trip to fin Felicities missing sister. And shes about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be.
If you love stories of celebrity encounter, young love, and a little adventure, this is the story for you.
I have to admit, Novak has a skill that is unparalleled in all the books I have read and reviewed. Her ability to create vulnerability in her characters while making them so relatable no matter their challenges is unlike any other author I have read. In Paper Hearts, Felicity struggles to be the perfect daughter, while Alec battles against his unaccepting father. Their story is smooth, easy to fall in to, and you find yourself squeeing with even the slightest touch between the two. Alec is the boy next door we all wish we had, charming and gentle while being a quiet knight in shining armor, and everything Felicity needs in her life, without every knowing she did.
Honestly, this is the hardest part of any review, but especially with this one. I honestly cant find something I would place in this section with any truth, as I didn’t find anything in the story that set me off. The meeting is rather fan fiction-y, but as a fan fiction writer myself, I liked it. The happily ever after is traditional, and while I like a little more hard angst and discord, I was happy when the two made their way to each other in the end. Each person has their own preferences, so really, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like enough to actually belong in the BAD.
Honestly? I am team Alec! The moment I finished the book, I shot off a message to Ali telling her as much. While I enjoyed all her other heroes from her stories, Alec resonated with me in his quiet ability to make you feel safe and comfortable. Sometimes, you don’t need the bad boy, the trouble maker, or the rock star. You just need a true, kind soul.
ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED ADVANCED COPY OF PAPER HEARTS!
The generous Ali Novak has given us here at Fangirlish TWO autographed advanced copies of Paper Hearts! *squee* You will have two chances to win; one here, and one with the exclusive interview with Novak, coming in June! With a release date of July 4, 2017, this is your change to get your grabby hands on a copy before everyone else!
Contest will run May 11-20 for this round. Winner will be contacted by Fangirlish to claim prize by May 25.